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I’m sorry, Abuja Publisher tells Attorney-General Adoke

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Mohammed Bello Adoke
Publisher of Abuja-based Press Gallery magazine, Mustapha Isiaka has apologized to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke for publishing a story suggesting that Adoke may have become corrupt as his predecessor in office, Michael Aondoakaa .

In a one-page handwritten statement, Mustapha who was invited by the police authorities to testify against the Attorney-General said he was apologizing for a story published in the Vol. 2, NO. 55, 2-14 November 2010 edition of his magazine which he admitted touched on the AGF's “personality.”

The statement, which was exclusively obtained by, read: “I, Isiaka Mustapha, on behalf of my publication-PRESS GALLERY, do sincerely apologise to the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr. Mohammed Adoke over a story concerning his personality as published in our edition Vol. 2, No. 55, 2-14 Nov. 2010”

He concluded: “We shall carry the apology in our next edition, next week.” The apology was dated 12 November, 2010.

Sources close the police headquarters told that, following the screaming promo on Press Gallery “Mega bribe: Like Aondoakaa, like Adoke?” the Attorney-General had penned a memo to President Goodluck Jonathan, urging the president to direct the Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim to investigate the claims of graft hurled at him.

Offered a police source: “It was when we got the presidential order that we invited the publisher to assist our investigation by backing up his claims. The Attorney-General had been invited and we had taken his statement. When this Mustapha man came, he began to dribble us that the person who gave him the story had travelled out of the country.

“When we saw that all he was giving us were false and misleading information, and that we were not making any progress, we decided to charge him to court. It was while we were on this that he contacted persons close to Adoke to prevail on the Attorney-General to forgive him since the story was planted by some persons bent on smearing his (Adoke's) name,” the source stated.

He added: “In fact, we didn't know the Attorney-General would now be the one begging us not to take the man to court; that his wife and children would suffer in the event he was jailed. Our report is somehow stalled, but I guess the AGF would find a way to explain the matter to Mr. President.”

Mustapha's apology came barely 24 hours after the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had in a strongly worded statement, condemned his invitation by the police.

``The NUJ is thoroughly disappointed by the suggestion that Nigeria's number one law officer, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice , could resort to using the police to harass and intimidate a journalist, whereas a past  president and military Head of state could both go to court of competent jurisdiction over such an issue,” NUJ had said in the statement.


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